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Question Number: 32463

Law 3 - The Players 5/22/2018

RE: Competitive Under 14

Eugene of San Jose, CA US asks...

Law 3 says that if the goalkeeper exchanges positions with another player while the ball is in play, the referee should allow play to continue. How should handling be called if one of them handles the ball while the change is taking place? Is it at referee's discretion who the goalkeeper is at a given moment?

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Eugene,

I think there would be enough evidence to decipher who is who but if not given the identifying jersey is the key marker who ever is wearing it.
Should it really boil down to neither having it on perhaps who is holding it lol . Cheers

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Eugene
The Law does not spell it out clearly. I would suggest that the player wearing the funny jersey or in possession of the jersey is the goalkeeper. That is the referees discretion.
I could not really see a situation where during actual play a change is made or hastily half made. It is more likely to happen at half time or at a lengthy stoppage.
In the outlier event where there is a hasty change the player with the jersey is the goalkeeper. If none has a jersey then the player last wearing it is the goalkeeper. Again I cannot see a situation where a goalkeeper does not have a jersey or where a player grabs the ball who is not the goalkeeper.
It is unlikely to test very many referees if any thankfully.

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